Hot on the heels of a report indicating that Apple has grand plans to take on the cable industry with a streaming TV service of its own, more information about what that service will look like has started to trickle in.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the initial rollout of an Apple TV streaming service will likely include about 25 channels, including ESPN, ABC, CBS, FX, and Fox.
Now comes word, also via The Journal, that Apple is also aiming to get some additional big name channels on board to shore up an arguably light 25 channel lineup.
Specifically, Apple is reportedly in talks with both the Discovery Channel and Viacom in an effort to get some of their more popular channels spots in their TV lineup.
Some are making headway. Discovery, owner of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, and Viacom, owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, are in talks to be on the Apple service, people familiar with the matter said.
Some of the other notable channels owned by Viacom include VH1, Spike, and TV Land.
Rumors of Apple making a big splash into the TV industry have persisted for years on end. For a while, many believed Apple would release a branded HDTV of its own. While those rumors always seemed somewhat spurious, the notion of Apple offering a streaming TV service for its users is a whole a lot easier to digest and make sense of. For starters, Apple doesn’t have to get involved in the low margin HDTV business. Second, and perhaps more importantly, if Apple can actually deliver a compelling TV service at an attractive pricepoint, it will help fuel iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV sales, all products where Apple’s margins are extremely high.